data security

Many small businesses fall under the false impression that criminals will only target large or medium-sized businesses given the higher potential payout, but that’s not the case. No business is immune to data loss. Ransomware and cybercrime can hit any size business, in any industry. But unfortunately, recovery is often more of a challenge for small businesses.

Small businesses tend to have fewer resources and personnel to tackle data security. They typically have less formalized emergency planning and backup procedures. Because of this, they’re less likely to survive the costly aftermath of data loss or downtime.

What can you do to protect yourself? Check out five of the most common security risks involved in a small business setup and how to overcome them:

No data security policies

A small business needs to reflect upon its own policies to see whether data security is imbibed into their work culture. Without a security policy, most businesses end up vulnerable to attacks and most of them fail to contain breaches due to non-existent post-breach policies.

No one’s monitoring systems for potential breaches

A bit of bad code is going to do its best to mind its own business while stealing from your business, and could go on for months, compromising passwords, copying documents and even stealing identities. You need software that frequently searches your systems for attack vectors, updates protections, and administers patches where needed. One best practice is to subscribe to a managed IT security service from a trusted partner.

No employee training

When most people think about cyber security risks, they picture some guy sitting in his basement halfway around the world with three computer screens running Matrix-like code. And while there are hackers that can tap into your networks from thousands of miles away, your biggest threat is actually right here at home.

Whether you realize it or not, your employees are your company’s greatest threat. Whether purposefully or unintentionally, your employees can wreak havoc on your company’s data, networks and programs. The companies that understand this are establishing additional layers of ground level security and training employees in the basics of digital security. Employees need to know what actions open the company up to risk, and which actions are preferred. If you have a BYOD policy in place, there should also be some intentional conversation about what information can be accessed on devices.

No limit to employee access

Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Employees should only be given access to the specific data systems that they need for their jobs, and should not be able to install any software without permission.

Lack of authentication

Require employees to use unique passwords and change passwords every three months. Consider implementing multi-factor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multi-factor authentication for your account.

In an era where data is money and cybercrime is a real threat, small businesses need to understand that the cost of data breaches is higher than the cost of implementing security systems.

After all, small businesses are large corporations in their nascent stage. Any breach at such a stage may prove to be detrimental to the future of the entire business. Mending the above-mentioned loopholes and devising secure measures for protecting your business will prove to be efficient in protecting yourself against security threats. A little precaution and smart work can help you protect millions. Keeping a vigilant eye on the events in your surroundings will definitely help you stay in business and rise to the top.

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